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Missouri coach could be in trouble with NCAA

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Missouri coach could be in trouble with NCAA

From Comcast SportsNetCORAL GABLES, Fla. (AP) -- Two former Miami assistant coaches have been told they will be charged with "unethical conduct" when the NCAA presents the Hurricanes' athletic department with its notice of allegations, said two people familiar with the situation.The people spoke to The Associated Press Monday on condition of anonymity because neither the NCAA or Miami have announced the contents of the long-awaited letter, which the Hurricanes may receive at any time. The people say the coaches will be cited for violating NCAA bylaw 10.1, a broad rule that covers conduct and cooperating with investigations. One of the coaches has been told to expect arrival of an actual copy of the allegations on Tuesday, one person told the AP.Parties who are named in the notice of allegations are entitled to a copy, though it is unclear if all will receive the letter simultaneous to its delivery at Miami. It's unknown how many current and former coaches and staff members will be charged with wrongdoing.The NCAA does not comment on ongoing investigations. Miami officials have said throughout the investigation, which started in 2011, that the school is cooperating with the NCAA and will decline extensive public comment out of respect to that process.The people told the AP that Miami still has not seen a final version of the notice of allegations, the arrival of which will essentially bring just the first chapter of this Miami-NCAA saga to a close. Several people involved with the process have either reviewed draft documents or been advised of their upcoming mentions in telephone calls with investigators. Most of those calls took place last week.Another individual who was interviewed during the joint inquiry told the AP that the NCAA has not been in contact since. That suggests not everyone who at one time was thought to be under investigation will not actually be mentioned in the notice of allegations.Earlier this month, Miami coach Al Golden said he did not expect the university to be surprised by the NCAA's findings. Several people involved in the investigation said Miami has had representation at many interviews the NCAA conducted with persons it found to be of interest.A CBSSports.com report published Monday said that the NCAA could not prove former booster and convicted Ponzi scheme architect Nevin Shapiro's claim that former Miami men's basketball coach Frank Haith or a member of his Miami staff paid 10,000 to the family of former Hurricanes' player DeQuan Jones. Shapiro has said that he provided that money.Jones was suspended by Miami last season after Shapiro's claims were published in August 2011 by Yahoo Sports, then ultimately allowed to return to the team.CBSSports.com also said Haith will face the "unethical conduct" charge because of inconsistencies the NCAA found in his account of Jones' recruitment. CBSSports.com also said Haith will be charged with "failure to promote an atmosphere of compliance" because relatives of two players were given impermissible airline travel."The University has been in communication with the NCAA regarding their ongoing efforts related to the University of Miami investigation," Missouri said in a statement. "Coach Haith and the University of Missouri continue to cooperate fully. However, we are not at liberty to comment further out of respect for the NCAA process."One of those players, current senior Reggie Johnson, was suspended for a game last season after Miami and the NCAA found members of his family accepted what they called "impermissible travel benefits." And guard Durand Scott, the Hurricanes' leading scorer, was for the end of last season and the start of this season after he was also found to have gotten unspecified extra benefits.Whenever the actual letter arrives, Miami's receipt of the notice of allegations will usher in the start of the sanctions phase.And that could take months -- meaning actual penalties may not be handed down until this summer, or later.Typically, schools and individuals named in the notice of allegations have 90 days to file a response to the NCAA's findings, all of which would be reviewed by the committee on infractions -- which operates separately from the NCAA's investigative arm.Some of the sanctions have already gone into effect, since they were self-imposed. Miami's football team has missed three postseason games -- two bowl games and what would have been an appearance in this season's Atlantic Coast Conference championship game -- in response to the investigation, and Golden is holding back a number of scholarships from the 2013 roster as well.Shapiro, the former booster, is serving a 20-year sentence in federal prison for masterminding a 930 million Ponzi scheme. Virtually all of the individuals who were named by Shapiro in his detailed claims that were published by Yahoo Sports are no longer at the university, and several of the people to whom the NCAA wanted to talk simply refused during the inquiry.The NCAA inquiry started several months before that August 2011 article.

Blackhawks’ Kirby Dach emerging as star and living up to 'playoff performer' hype

Blackhawks’ Kirby Dach emerging as star and living up to 'playoff performer' hype

Ask anyone in Chicago who the standout of training camp 2.0 was and you'll hear one name: Kirby Dach.

“He has all the potential in the world,” Patrick Kane said. “He can be a top player in the league.”

“He’s got the potential to be a great player in this league and a great player for the Blackhawks for a long time," echoed Brent Seabrook.

Upon hearing this enormous praise from a pair of three-time Stanley Cup champions and joining the hype train myself, I couldn’t help but think: Are we putting unfair expectations on a kid who’s still only 19?

The answer: Nope. Because he can handle it.

Dach looks like a completely different player after finally having an “offseason” to recharge, both mentally and physically. And it’s showing in the postseason.

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Through three games in the Stanley Cup Qualifiers, Dach has four points — all assists — and a team-best plus-4 rating; in total, he’s been on the ice for eight of the Blackhawks’ 13 goals so far. He became the first Blackhawks rookie to register at least one point in his first three postseason games since Eddie Olczyk in 1985. 

All those numbers are great, but here’s the eye-opener: Dach is averaging 20:21 of ice time in the postseason, which trails only Patrick Kane (22:21) among team forwards. He led all Blackhawks forwards with 23:21 of ice time in Wednesday’s Game 3 comeback win over the Edmonton Oilers, which was, by far, a career high for Dach, who averaged 14:16 of ice time during the regular season.

The Blackhawks are giving him an enormous amount of responsibility, whether it's top-six minutes at even strength, power-play time on the first unit and penalty kill reps. And Dach is handling it about as well as you could ask for.

"He loves responsibility and he thrives on it," head coach Jeremy Colliton said. "We knew, based on how he looked in training camp, that he was ready to take a bigger role here. He's been great. He's been as advertised."

Dach isn't just making an impact on the scoresheet, either. He's doing the little things right, too.

Olli Maatta scored the first goal in Game 3 after his shot from the point got past Oilers goaltender Mikko Koskinen, but that puck doesn't go in without the 6-foot-4, 197-pound Dach wreaking havoc in front of the net. Those plays don't go unnoticed inside the locker room.

"It shows that the coach trusts in your abilities to get a job done," Dach said of the added responsibility. "And as a player, it's a welcoming challenge. You want to be put in those situations and succeed in them."

One of the main reasons why the Blackhawks selected Dach third overall in 2019 was because of the way he elevated his game in the Western Hockey League playoffs. He was the engine for the Saskatoon Blades and the focal point for opponents yet thrived off the attention.

“He does all the things that can wow you, but then he does the other stuff, too," GM Stan Bowman said the day the Blackhawks drafted Dach. "He was great at stripping pucks, he was great at backchecking, he was great at the physical play when the series got pretty intense in the playoffs and it was clear they were targeting him. He not only took it, he gave it back. It was impressive to see him raise his game at a time of year when it matters most, which is playoff hockey.

"You watch the NHL playoffs and you see how intense it can be and then you look at the way he plays, and you can see that that game translates."

It sure does.

Whether he can be a big-time point producer in the NHL remains to be seen, but it's clear Dach is the kind of player whose game is better suited for the playoffs than the regular season. And we're seeing why.

How Blackhawks' unlikely heroes on defense are providing boost in Oilers series

How Blackhawks' unlikely heroes on defense are providing boost in Oilers series

Jonathan Toews was dominant in Game 1's 6-4 win and he was back at it in Game 3. But, with the special teams woes the Oilers have been causing the Hawks in touting a power play that was No. 1 in the NHL at the time of the pause and a penalty kill that was No. 2, not to mention the top two points leaders in the league during the regular season (Leon Draisaitl and Connor McDavid), Chicago needed some unlikely heroes to emerge in the series.

Enter Blackhawks defensemen Connor Murphy, Olli Maatta and Slater Koekkoek.

With Game 3 tied 3-3 and just 1:16 remaining early Thursday morning, Murphy fired a wrist shot to put the Hawks ahead. It even appeared as if he scored the goal himself at first, but Toews was credited with his second goal of the game on the play and Murphy with the primary assist. The D-man finished Game 3 with a +/- rating of +1 in 21:55 of ice time.

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"Just a lucky bounce," a modest Murphy said of his play that helped the Blackhawks take a 2-1 lead in the best-of-five series, having the Oilers facing elimination in Friday's Game 4. "Didn’t throw (a) hard one at the net. I saw Tazer had good position. He was all alone in front, should be able to get a tip on it. ... Just those last minutes of games, every faceoff’s so huge, obviously that one being a big one to get a shot off."

Koekkoek got the primary assist on Matthew Highmore's first career postseason goal which tied the game 3-3 at 14:13 of the third.

Maatta scored the first goal of the game 9:14 into the opening frame off a pass from Patrick Kane and picked up the secondary assist on Highmore's goal. 

"He's got experience from playing in the playoffs, it's nice to have that, and he's done a great job defensively, killing penalties and he's calm back there," Blackhawks coach Jeremy Colliton said of Maatta, who won two Stanley Cups with the Pittsburgh Penguins before coming to the Hawks, after the game. "He's been able to chip in offensively, too, that's always a bonus. Our D as a whole are doing a great job of getting pucks through and getting it to the net, and we're going to need to continue to do that."

Related: Blackhawks overcome special teams woes, complete comeback in Game 3

Maatta has a two-game goal streak in the series and he and his D-partner, Koekkoek, were the only blueliners in Game 2's 6-3 loss with a positive +/- rating (+2). Maatta had one goal in Game 2 and Koekkoek a goal and an assist.

"I think we do a great job whenever we get in the zone, our forwards do a great job holding onto the puck. That makes them collapse a little bit. They do a good job of giving us the puck with a little more time. It hasn't been only me and Kooks," Maatta said of the Hawks blueline's contributions to the series. "It's been Haaner (Calvin de Haan) and Murph and Duncs (Duncan Keith) and Boqi (Adam Boqvist). They're getting pucks through and it feels like every time we get it to the net our forwards are in good position, battling for them, getting rebounds, getting tips. It makes it tough for them."

According to Murphy, with the way the Blackhawks' forwards and D have been effectively collaborating in the offensive zone, it's best for Chicago's defensemen to just keep firing pucks on net when they can.

"It’s always part of your game plan," Murphy said. "Especially our forwards draw good attention when they’re entering the zone, knowing that we’ve got a lot of firepower in them, a lot of skill and strength. They do a good job of drawing wingers down to them. It leaves a couple of open shots. Kooks and Olli have been hot lately and have really smart shots they get through, go in. That’s always a good plan."